Cheval Blanc Randheli
What it is
A lagoon-top wonderland too luxurious to be believed—but what else would you expect from owner LVMH?
What it isn't
Urban. You’re a forty minute seaplane flight from Malé here, and you revel in the perfect solace.
What we think
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (a.k.a. Prince William and Kate Middleton) holidayed here in 2014—which is an unofficial royal stamp of approval, in our book. Why did they pick it among the bajillion other locales they could have opted for? The answer is obvious: it just might be the most eye-popping new hotel in the Maldives. Villas on stilts above a turquoise, glass clear lagoon are fitted with infinity pools, deep soaking tubs, and—just to keep things interesting—modernist bean bag chairs that must have delighted certain regal derrieres. That the art on-site is worthy of MoMa (you’ll see pieces by Vincent Beaurin made of quartz sand and marble, and a fin-like copper sculpture by Randheli rising from the surf) is almost ironic, because your eyes will inevitably be on the view: pristine seas stretching to the horizon, interrupted only by the occasional sea turtle toddling by.
You're here because
You like to do more on vacay than sit around—even in the Maldives. At Cheval Blanc Randheli, that equates to sailing to deserted islands for beach barbecues, kitesurfing over the lagoon or even trying a hoverboard—which is exactly as amazing as it sounds.
You might think that a resort that’s literally lofted over the sea in the middle of watery nowhere might have lackluster food, but you’d be wrong. Cheval Blanc Randheli has eight different dining options, among them your new personal favorite: Le 1947, a 9-course Francophile delight where plated food is so perfectly tweezer-applied, it could break the internet.
You’ll arrive via a Twin Otter Havilland seaplane—a 40-minute trip from Malé, but one you’ll wish would last longer, since the plane is tricked out with plush leather seats, treats and custom flavored water.
- The White - relaxed and contemporary, serving breakfast and brasserie-style cuisine
- Le 1947 - fine dining French, serving 9-course chef's tasting menu in a sophisticated yet hip modern setting
- The Diptyque - Japanese and Southeast Asian fare in a simple, open-kitchen dining room
- The Deelani - over-water alfresco dining featuring seafood and Mediterranean specialties
- The White Bar - cocktails and light fare, facing the pool
- Le 1947 Bar - ultra modern wine bar with live piano